Electronic cigarettes are an adult product, and despite the endless chatter about flavours and marketing, they are positioned as such. Though most contentious anti-vaping groups will claim the industry is lurking in dark alleys, waiting to bait unsuspecting youth, it simply isn’t the case.
And, for the extremists who believe electronic cigarettes are actually a gateway to tobacco, I regret to report that scientists have confirmed there is no visible link between trying electronic cigarettes and taking up traditional tobacco smoking.
We need to come to grips with the reality of youth culture, peer pressure and the general order of things. Kids who become interested in trying nicotine products are going to try nicotine products. And, by and large, those products will be cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Let’s face it, in the eyes of today’s youth, the “danger factor” of cigarettes likely make them much more appealing than “safe and boring” electronic cigarettes.
While disposable electronic cigarettes and e-liquid are becoming harder to get by the day, cigarettes and chewing tobacco haven’t gotten any more challenging to obtain. The same careless shop owners who sold tobacco to minors yesterday are doing it today.
Plus, let’s not forget the social aspect of cigarette smoking. I would venture to say that most underage smokers didn’t set out to buy a pack when they started. They borrowed a smoke from a friend or acquaintance. Then they borrowed another one.
It was only after realizing they enjoyed cigarettes that they bought them … and anything else like them.
Regulations are looming. The initial FDA proposals were less stringent than expected, but make no mistake, more are coming. Couple this with growing amounts of anti-vaping media coverage, reports of irresponsible, etc., and you have a mounting problem.